Falcon buys stake in Brazil cabler

Falcon Cable has struck a deal to invest $50 million for a 17% stake in TV A, one of the leading Brazilian cable operators/programmers. Capital Cities/ABC, along with Hearst Entertainment, is in talks to invest in the Latin American service too.

TV A, majority owned by publishing giant Grupo Abril, is one of the pay TV market leaders in Brazil along with Globo subsidiary NET Brasil. It also is one of the largest cable operators, with systems reaching close to 250,000 subscribers. Non-TV A owned cable systems that rely heavily on TV A-owned programming reach another 250,000-plus subscribers and are counted toward the company’s ownership totals in accordance with Brazil regulations. Cable is rapidly growing in the region, with operators adding several thousand subscribers monthly.

CapCities/ABC and Hearst are said to be nearing a deal with TV A to acquire a stake of at least 15%. The companies declined comment. The two companies already are partners in cable domestically. CapCities and Hearst are equal partners in Lifetime Television, and Hearst also owns 20% of CapCities’ ESPN and ESPN2.

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